The wheel was the next big thing. The printing press was the next big thing. The fidget spinner was not. It turns out the next big thing.
We must call out those who pushed ballyhooed products that failed to earn their “next big thing” status.
Humanity deserves credit for rejecting the proposal that we fill every waking minute with streamed video content. If we want to waste between 10 and 30 minutes, we’ll open Instagram, thank you very much.
Some people are still trying to make hoverboards happen. Stop. Hoverboards aren’t happening.
Unless, of course, “happening” means “breaking tailbones and creating face plants.”
3. 3-D Televisions
3-D televisions were very cool for a minute. Then the edible wore off, and we realized that wearing glasses to watch your TV is impractical. Plus, complaints about charging the glasses and the limited ability of home-sized televisions to create the 3-D illusion hindered the technology’s growth.
Segways used to be the urban transportation mode of the future. Now, they are an easy way to spot tourists.
Based on early returns, the Metaverse has nothing on real trees, rooftop bars, houses, and relationships. One day Zuck & Co. may rule us all in a virtual universe, but not just yet.
6. Google Glass
Wait, wait, wait, guys. Get this. You touch the rim of the glasses, and it takes a picture! It has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so my head is like a fleshy router. Totally worth the $1,400. No regrets.
GlassHoles looked absurd, acted like their glasses were the next big thing, and could not have been more wrong.
To the dismay of Logan Paul and countless digital artists (and scammers), NFTs have not earned the mainstream status many predicted. While NFTs remain intriguing as a concept and have utility in several circles (like digital trading cards), they appear to be less widely applicable than they are.
An entire industry of MP3 players emerged once Apple’s iPod revolutionized how we listened to music. The smartphone all but decimated the whole sector of MP3 players, including companies like Zune.
9. Windows Phone
The Windows Phone was one of several examples of companies venturing into the smartphone space for no apparent reason. Before there was the Windows Phone, there was Mobile ESPN. We’re still waiting for the Olive Garden Phone, hopefully coming this decade.
Believe it or not, some people claimed with a straight face that a $400 juicer was the next technology you’d see everywhere. It wasn’t.
11. Dippin’ Dots
Dippin’ Dots once claimed to be the ice cream of the future. While a cup of Dippin’ Dots was a welcomed treat at a baseball game, most grocery store freezers were not cold enough to keep Dippin’ Dots in their dot form. The future finally arrived for Dippin’ Dots, which came in the form of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in 2011.
Also known by its brand name Olean, Olestra was a synthetic fat substitute meant to reduce caloric intake. Though some foods still contain Olean, it has been largely removed from products as consumers rejected the Franken-gradient.
13. 3-D Printers
3-D printers are now building homes, firearms, and other creations that seemed unfathomable a decade ago. But that claim that 3-D printers would be in virtually every middle-class home in America? That seems like an overly manufactured lie.
14. New Coke (Coke II)
A reformulated version of Coke hit the market in 1985 and was put out to pasture in 2002. It turns out the Old Coke is plenty tasty.
While Telehealth has its uses, it’s tough for a doctor to diagnose a torn ACL through an iPhone camera.